headshot of Prof. Dionne Brand
Prof. Dionne Brand

University of Guelph English and Theatre Studies Prof. Dionne Brand is this year’s recipient of the Blue Metropolis Violet Literary Prize.

The $5,000 annual prize was inaugurated in 2018 to celebrate an established LGBTQ Canadian writer for a body of work and “overall contribution” to LGBTQ literature in Canada.

The prize alternates between francophone and anglophone recipients, and Brand is the first anglophone recipient.

Brand, who is known for tackling social justice, gender and race in her writing, has won several awards over her career, including the Governor General’s Literary Award for poetry and the Trillium Book Award for her 1997 collection, Land to Light On.

She has also won the Pat Lowther Award for Poetry, the Harbourfront Writers’ Prize, the Griffin Poetry Prize and the Toronto Book Award.

In 2009 she served as the poet laureate of Toronto and in 2017, she was named to the Order of Canada.

Her poetry collection The Blue Clerk was a finalist for the 2018 Governor General’s Literary Award for poetry.

Blue Clerk has been shortlisted for the 2019 Griffin Poetry Prize. The League of Canadian Poets has also longlisted the work for its 2019 Pat Lowther Memorial Award.

Brand teaches poetry and prose in U of G’s creative writing MFA program.